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Deciphering Qualification Rules for the Second World Baseball Classic
Now that the deadline for submitting the final rosters of the 16 teams that qualified for the Second World Baseball Classic Baseball has come and gone, fans are now trying to decipher the new elimination system.

In 2006, the Classic was an all-tournament game: each team played one match versus each opponent, three matches per group. Ties were decided using a complex rule based on runs scored and allowed.

An expert writing for the International Baseball Amateur Federation (IBAF) website, Barry M. Blooms, notes that this time there will be changes.

In each group of four, the two winners of the first games play each other, while the two losers do the same. The one team that loses their first two matches will be eliminated, and the one team that wins the first two matches automatically moves on. With the fate of two teams decided, the remaining two teams (both with a 1-1 record) play a fifth game that decides the second team from the group to advance and to be eliminated. The last match, between the two winners, will define the placings for the next round.

In this way, what happened at the First Classic will be avoided, when the US, Mexico and Japan ended their group all tied with a 1-2 record. Japan moved on because its pitchers only allowed five runs, as did the Americans, but in fewer innings.

Another change is derived from Schiller’s rule. If a game remains tied after 12 innings, the following innings will be played with runners starting on 1st and 2nd bases.

In addition, this year pitchers will be given an increase in the throwing limit: 70 during the first round, 85 in the second, and 100 in the semifinal and final matches.

If after the 7th inning, a team is ahead by 10 runs, a baseball knock out (KO) will be declared and a super KO, if after the 5th inning, a team is ahead by 15 runs.

Japan defeated Australia in Osaka 8-2, in a practice match where Ichiro Zuzuki batted 4-1 with an infield hit and scored a run; and Akinori Iwamura batted in two players.


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